L’amour l’après-midi

I went out to the office to find a couple of other teachers still working on their grades. I checked my list and submitted mine, ending my work for the semester. I took the buses out to the Grand Lake Theatre to see the Star Wars movie again. A lot of people were there to see it. What I thought about during this viewing was the sense of time with the editing. There’s no lingering with showing ships landing and doors opening. I thought that ten minutes and then two minutes were too little time for things to happen at the end. Rey’s trip at the end takes only a few moments, like a casual trip on the subway. Rey points the lightsaber outward in the last shot. This audience wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as the one on Friday. It had rained a bit while I was in the theatre. I took a bus out to Emeryville. I looked for a gift for my mother at Target but didn’t like much of anything I saw. I went to Barnes and Noble, which I bought a record player with speakers. I returned home and dropped off my stuff. I had a spicy chicken burger at Bongo Burger before I took the bus to the Big 5 in El Cerrito, where I bought a pair of Nikes. I returned home to watch Eric Rohmer’s “Love in the Afternoon,” also known as “Chloe in the Afternoon.” “Love in the Afternoon” was also the title of a Billy Wilder film with Audrey Hepburn. This movie was set in Paris and followed a married man named Frederic who is tempted to have an affair with a young woman named Chloe, who shows up at his office one day. I liked the opening scenes of the movie, which showed what Paris was like. It was something like the opening montage in Woody Allen’s “Manhattan.” I liked two scenes that showed the characters shopping. Frederic deals with a salesgirl who gives her opinion on a shirt. I’m not sure that Frederic knew what he thought of the shirt. He left a pin in it as he tried it on. Frederic and Chloe were out shopping for baby items when Chloe runs into them. Frederic’s wife Helene has a strong immediate impression of her. She’s influenced by some prior knowledge of her, the fact that someone supposedly nearly killed himself over her. I noticed that Marie-Christine Barrault and Laurence de Monaghan were both in one dream sequence. Marie-Christine Barrault was in “My Night at Maud’s,” and Laurence de Monaghan was in “Claire’s Knee.” “Love in the Afternoon” was not as interesting as “Claire’s Knee,” either visually or in content. I found myself wanting it to end. Chloe says that she wants a child, and wants Frederic to be the father. There is so much potential trouble with that situation that I could understand why Frederic could take her seriously. The film ends without our knowing what has happened to Chloe, and Frederic’s marriage seems to have changed for the worse. I don’t know why Chris Rock was inspired to make “I Love My Wife” based on this movie. It has some moments, but it doesn’t inspire you to watch it again. The DVD looked good in its color photography from Nestor Almendros again. My favorite of Eric Rohmer’s Six Moral Tales was easily “Claire’s Knee.” I looked at the list of guests on the late night talk shows and didn’t feel like watching any of them. Some of the people who died on December 23 include Peggy Guggenheim (1979), Jack Webb (1982), Billy Barty (2000), Michael Kidd (2007), and Oscar Peterson (2007). Today is a birthday for Susan Lucci (69) and Harry Shearer (72).

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